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Thread: Would a MOAB do as much damage as Fatman and Littleboy?

  1. #1 Would a MOAB do as much damage as Fatman and Littleboy? 
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    So with 21,000 pounds of explosives would the MOAB do as much damage as the 20k pound Hydrogen bomb dropped on Japan, I forget what bomb was which. I think the second one was 50k pound. Please feel free to correct this. I know they used the daisy cutter in Vietnam a 15k pound bomb based on an aluminum slury (sp?). I think we also dropped some during the first Golf war. I may have my facts all wrong.


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    Forum Sophomore DEChengst's Avatar
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    Little Boy and Fat Man weren't hydrogen weapons as you seem to think. The first hydrogen bomb wasn't tested until 1952. Both weapons were plain fision based bombs, where Little Boy used uranium and Fat Man used plutonium. Little Boy's yield is estimated to have been 13 kilotons of TNT. The yield of Fat Man is estimated to have been 20 kilotons of TNT. The 21,000 pounds of the MOAB is only 9545.45 kilograms. Assuming that the explosives used in a MOAB are as powerfull as TNT, Little Boy would be 1360 times more powerfull than a MOAB and Fat Man would be 2095 times more powerfull than a MOAB. The conclusion is that a MOAB doesn't even come close to the damage done by a crude nuclear weapon of the first generation.


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    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    The conclusion is that a MOAB doesn't even come close to the damage done by a crude nuclear weapon of the first generation.
    I knew I had something screwed up. I have to wonder why they even bothered building the MOAB.

    Only on the internet can you find such great information.

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    Forum Ph.D.
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    It would never do as much damage as either of those two, for the simple reason that no missile filled with explosives will ever have the lethal side-effects of a nuclear blast, where people in the vicinity get cancer, and people from next generations get cancer.

    The greatest destructive power, in my opinion, of a Nuclear bomb is not in it's immediate payload, but rather in it's capability to do damage years after it has hit.

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    They bothered to build it because it is much safer to use than a nuclear weapon. The radiation released by a nuclear bomb can have lasting effects. Where as a MOAB just blows the hell out of something and is done. Also, you don't always want to destroy such a massive area. A MOAB can do what would take many cruise missiles or LGBs to do. This saves money on parts, propellant, aircraft fuel, trnasportation costs, storage costs, etc...
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    Forum Freshman craterchains's Avatar
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    With nuclear weapons anything above ground can be destroyed. Modern nukes
    leave very little radiation. Some are considered safe after only a few hours. They
    used to be very dirty radiation speaking, but most of the public is still unawares that
    the modern devices allow safe occupation of bombed areas with in days, weeks, and
    for some of the really big ones months. It was this very uninformed public opinion
    that stopped the creation of a second Panama Canal being built with thermonuclear
    explosives.

    There is one very true fact about nukes,
    the only safe place is deep underground.

    But as Mr.U pointed out, for greatest damage against an enemy, and their off spring,
    would be to use some of the old dirty type of nuclear explosives. Of course we still
    have the good old "snake and nape". Nuthin like bits and pieces blown or burned
    off. (sorry, been there done that, it aint pretty, be thankful you can't smell or taste it
    in the movies,,,, yet.)

    Hell there are shoulder launchable helium nukes that make MOAB look small. War
    is a real bitch, but public opinion is still as stated by Mr. U.
    It's not what you know or don't know, but what you know that isn't so that will hurt you. Will Rodgers 1938
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    Quote Originally Posted by craterchains
    It was this very uninformed public opinion
    that stopped the creation of a second Panama Canal being built with thermonuclear explosives.
    If public opinion allowed the use of nukes in civilian applications, what would hold back their use militarily all the time, Dr. Strangelove?
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    Forum Sophomore Matt Lacey's Avatar
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    It probably helps for intimidation tactics too - the MOAB is generally talked about as having a similar yield to a nuclear bomb but without the side-effects, even though it's not as powerful - and, it's not a nuclear bomb, so the US could get away with using it without drawing (too many) international complaints.
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    I don't suppose it really makes much difference if you're the poor sod standing underneath it.
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  11. #10  
    Forum Sophomore Matt Lacey's Avatar
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    Indeed, but like all military operations it's more about the politics than the victims.
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  12. #11  
    Forum Freshman TreizeEnder's Avatar
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    A couple things that should be considered before knocking the MOAB. It is a very deadly weapon if you look at its implications.

    Firstly, the weapon is not an airburst bomb; rather it digs down about 30+ feet on impact than detonates. The explosion you see does it little justice as much of the energy is spread through the ground; ripping foundations of buildings to shreds. This does pack about the same yield as a tactical nuke.

    Secondly, this weapon is built to take down airfields completely in one strike. It paves the way for more devastating airbased firepower; not good to be solely ground based.
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